London Division Complete Scheme at The Royal Foundation of St Katherine

The Royal Foundation of St Katherine has been a centre for worship, hospitality and service since its founding by Queen Matilda in 1147. The present object of the Charity is the advancement of the Christian religion by the provision and maintenance of a Christian Conference and Retreat Centre on their site in Limehouse, London, where the foundation have been since their relocation in 1951.

Completed by our London Division, this 38 week, £930k project involved the creation of a new Reflective Wing on the south side of the their existing grounds. The largest part of the project was the construction of a two storey, traditional build accommodation block. Named The Victor Churchill Building in homage to the Foundation’s former Chairman, the new 7 bed-roomed facility will be used by visitors on retreat. The facing bricks were carefully selected to ensure the new build’s aesthetic matched that of the neighbouring Chapel and Master House, both of which are Grade II listed.

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The completed Victor Churchill Building (right), new courtyard and Foundation Chapel (left).

Alteration and refurbishment works were also carried out in the Main Building and Chapel to improve staff areas, create new toilets and form a new dining room, which will serve the neighbouring accommodation. Externally, a new secluded courtyard with patio and water feature help to create facilities that serve as a peaceful urban oasis for those looking to get away from the busy-ness of modern day life.

The Museum of London had a watching brief over the project following the discovery of a crypt belonging to a former 19th century Church; the original Church was destroyed during the blitz. Subsequent x-ray surveys for further unexplored ordnance were carried out under supervision of the Museum during the projects early stages.

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One of the 7 new bedrooms within The Victor Churchill Building.

The project was particularly challenging from a logistical point of view due to the extremely tight access to and from the site. At is narrowest point, between the Master House and the boundary wall, the access was only 1.5 meters wide. This significantly limited the range of plant equipment available for use and meant that many of the materials had to be transported onto site by hand.

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The Victor Churchill Building from the neighbouring St. James Gardens.

Despite the various challenges, the hard work and measured approach of the entire project team was recently recognised with the announcement that the scheme has been awarded a Considerate Constructors 2018 National Site Award. We will find our whether it is bronze, silver or gold at the upcoming awards evening in April!

Our London Division was responsible for delivering the scheme which was completed on time and to budget, whilst working in partnership with Matthew Lloyd Architects and consultants Bristow Johnson. Following completion Operations Director at the Foundation Jonathan Byrne commented that:

“The Borras Directors set a highly professional, supportive and cooperative agenda, with good humour and cordial communication, which was reflected by all of their employees. The standard of workmanship and finish is extremely high.

The success of the project and established working relationship has resulted in The Foundation’s Trustees agreeing that Borras become our preferred supplier for future small building works and large maintenance projects.”

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